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IMEI Number Tampering will soon Result in Imprisonment upto 3 years

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Telecom Department is working on new rules in which IMEI number tampering will be an offense that could lead to punishment up to three years of imprisonment. These new regulations are formed in the combination of section 7 and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act, and this is reported by the Press Trust of India. IMEI number is a unique 15-digit serial number which is different for every handset. This move can reduce the chances of duplicating the IMEI number which will make it easier to track a lost or stolen device.

Nothing is mention when this new rule will be implemented as they are still working on finalizing this. Section 7 gives the Department the power to make rules for the conduct of telegraph services while Section 25 takes care of issues dealing with damaging a telegraph line, machine and other equipment related to it. There is a device called as Flasher that can change the International Mobile Equipment Identity Number (IMEI) and earlier this year, Delhi Police found plenty of cases where the IMEI number have been changed for the stolen devices.

The Indian Government has banned the import of the devices with duplicate IMEI numbers since tracking of calls, and the user becomes difficult. This ban was implemented a couple of years back, and the director general of foreign trade has notified that GSM handsets with duplicate IMEI and CDMA devices with duplicate ESN/MEID are not going to be imported. Before this in the year 2009, there was also an order to ban the import of mobile phones with fake IMEI numbers, and this rule was implemented for duplicate handsets also.

In May 2009, Government did not ban 25 million handsets which came with an IMEI number. Instead, they issued new numbers that were obtained from the industry body GSMA. What do you think of this move by the Indian Government? Will this bring any change in the market? Comment in the section below and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more.

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